DCLG seeks single neighbourhood planning support body

The Department for Communities and Local Government is seeking to contract a single body or consortium to deliver a £9.7 million package of neighbourhood planning support from next spring, tender documents reveal.

Planning support: DCLG to appoint single body or consortium (picture: Planning Aid)
Planning support: DCLG to appoint single body or consortium (picture: Planning Aid)
Last week, the department issued tender documents for a programme to replace the current Supporting Communities and Neighbourhoods in Planning scheme.

Four organisations - the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Locality and the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community – are currently contracted to give advice and assistance to communities working on neighbourhood plans under the existing programme. The funding will expire on 31 March 2013.

The tender documents outlines details of a "Supporting Communities and Neighbourhood in Planning 2013-2015" initiative, which will "replace the current programme".

"We are seeking to contract with a single body or consortium," the documents say. "However, we reserve the right to contract with a maximum of two bodies."

The indicative budget for the programme will be a maximum of £6 million in 2013/14 and £3.7 million in 2014/15, according to the tender documents.

The documents say that the contractor will be required to develop and administer a scheme allowing neighbourhoods undertaking neighbourhood planning to "apply for grants or vouchers of up to £7,000 per neighbourhood area to contributions to costs they incur which cannot be met from other sources".

The programme will make grants and vouchers available "on the basis of need" to contribute towards "start-up costs, training sessions, contribute to required studies, and incidentals such as printing costs", according to the documents.

The DCLG gave the four organisations delivering the existing programme a temporary reprieve in July. The funding had been due to run out at the end of July, but in a statement former planning minister Greg Clark announced that the programme would be extended until 31 March 2013.

The tender documents are available here.

jamie.carpenter@haymarket.com

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